Braces do one thing well, they straighten out crooked teeth and are able to reposition teeth. That is the only reason we use them. There are over 100 different designs and even more companies that sell them. Some designs work better than others, with less problems and issues. Other designs are focused on the colours or absence of colours, some even are clear or ceramic (tooth coloured). Most orthodontists will offer braces that are metallic, some will offer an option of going to a cosmetic ceramic design (for an added cost)… Not us! keep reading…
The most important thing is that we work in a team (orthodontist, staff and you) to get the very best results we can achieve. Our preference is always to not remove any teeth unnecessarily. We importantly request for you to maintain an excellent level of brushing and oral hygiene, care for the appliances, wearing the rubber bands as per the orthodontist’s instructions, and wearing any other appliances as prescribed.
Having braces makes for a plaque and food trap. Food and other bits can easily get stuck between you teeth and around the braces. Therefore, it is more important than ever to brush and floss regularly. Proper oral hygiene will ensure that the teeth and gums are healthy during and after treatment, which means teeth move as fast as possible. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional clean. Adults who have a history of gum disease will need to see a periodontist regularly during the course of the orthodontic treatment. We will be keeping a close eye on the gum and teeth health during your treatment.
All the different bracket designs will do what they are meant to once an archwire (the wire going between the teeth or brackets) is inserted and activated – they will move the teeth/tooth to a straighter position. Without going into too much detail, brackets are precise and delicate attachments that are glued lightly to teeth. They are not meant to be superglued as we need to think of removing them. Sometimes, with limited care and not following the instruction provided, brackets can come lose from the teeth, or the archwires bend and stick out… this relatively small annoyance is about the only “emergency” you can expect to deal with when you have braces on. Nothing serious.
The more of these breakages that occur, the longer the treatment is guaranteed to take!
You can smile and rest assured, that most of our patients, this will not feature as an issue.
When braces go on, there must be some changes that occur to your diet. For the first couple of days, you should ideally stick to soft foods. Avoiding tough meats, hard breads, nuts and raw vegetables is a must , as this is a wonderful method of pulling braces off and having breakages!
Before long, you’ll be able to bite an apple again… gently! You will learn that you can chop carrots and apples into small pieces and eat them, without any trouble. For more specific instructions, advice and recipes, click here.
Chewy foods – Toffies, Minties, lollies, bagels, hard rolls, liquorice
Crunchy foods – Popcorn, ice, chips, Anzac cookies, “Crunchie” chocolate bars
Sticky and gooey foods – Caramels and sugar gum
Hard foods – Nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into – corn on the cob, apples, carrots or popcorn (these are notorious for breaking brackets and archwires)
Chewing on hard things eg. fingernails, pens and pencils, hair clips can damage braces and the teeth. Damaged braces will without a doubt cause treatment delays, so it is best to avoid breakages.
You will not be charged for the first two accidents of brackets coming loose. From then on, you will be in the naughty corner and handing over some of your pocket money.
We wont lie to you… getting braces on in the chair is one of the easiest things you can have done in your mouth. It does get a little tiring towards the end of the initial “braces on” appointment. We can compare it to your mouth feeling like it has run a marathon!
When you get your braces on, there is no soreness, no pain, no lie!
Some people may start to feel general tenderness within the first 3-5 days in their mouth and teeth may feel tender to biting pressures. This can be relieved by taking a dose of PanadolTM or any Paracetamol tablet/s that you would use for a headache. Rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash may also help (dissolve 5 ml of salt in 200 ml of warm water, and rinse for 1 minute).
The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they accommodate and accustom to the surfaces of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this irritation. We’ll show you how to use the wax before you leave the clinic.
It is a really strange feeling to give your teeth a wiggle and them feeling loose. Don’t worry, it is normal as the teeth need to loosen before they can move , this is to be expected throughout treatment (especially at the beginning when lots of teeth are maligned). Once the teeth settle, they will once more become rigid and fixed, in their new position.
Although it is relatively uncommon, do not be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. If a wire sticks out and causes irritation, use a the back end of a spoon to gently push the wire back into the bracket or bend it downwards. An alternative, and often better technique is to use new nail clippers and snip the end of the wire that is causing the irritation. Often, husbands and dads will have a pair of wire cutters in the toolbox! Run! don’t let anyone else touch your braces – they often create more trouble for us.
If all fails and you are still irritated, please give us a call and we will organise an urgent visit to do it for you. We appreciate that your time is important and want to save you a visit . Otherwise, we are more than happy to sort it out at your next appointment.
At the beginning of treatment, you are getting use to the new brackets and bands, so these are somewhat prone to becoming loose. The most common cause of loosening a bracket is eating things that are hard. Please be mindful, as loose brackets and appliance breakages cause a delay in the treatment. Give us a call and kindly let us know, so that at your next regular appointment, we can put it back on for you . A loose bracket or band does not require an emergency visit to the office.
If you are wearing elastics to an anchor bracket that has come off, please let us know as we may need to get you in, so that you go back to wearing your elastics quickly. Remember that elastics move teeth.
No elastics = no movement = delays in treatment
Care of orthodontic appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan and give you the very best results, we must work together . The teeth and jaws can only move toward their connected positions if we all work towards a common goal.
If you play sports, it is important that you let us know for special precautions. A mouth guard is advised for playing contact sports and in any situation where you may get an unexpected knock. In most cases, this is the boil and bite type as the teeth are continually moving with braces.
In the unforeseen case of an accident please consult an ambulance or medical practitioner if the accident is significant. In case of an accident involving the face, mouth or gums – check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth have loosened or the appliance is damaged, give us a call immediately so we can get you in for an urgent appointment . If any teeth are displaced, please do not wait for a few days, contact us immediately . In the meantime, get some first aid and treat any discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.
True orthodontic emergencies, those, which require an immediate appointment, are rare . Examples of these include the jaw locking open or closed, a fall or blow to the face that knocks teeth loose, or an infection around the teeth with braces in place. If any of these occur, contact our practice as soon as feasible. If you are uncertain as to what constitutes an emergency, it is better to call our office and let us know what is up. Other problems that arise are addressed above. We’ve included possible solutions you can try to help deal with them at home . If problems persist, call our practice and let us know. We will make arrangements to see you as soon as possible.
Lets face it, braces are not the most aesthetically pleasing things… to overcome this, there is a technique that places braces on the inside surface of teeth(lingual braces), making them virtually invisible.
For the most discrete smile correction option, choose INCOGNITO at Shakespeare Orthodontics. Sounds like the perfect solution? Wait… there are some small disadvantages with any lingual braces system. From your perspective, most of these are only transient and will disappear as you get use to the new lingual braces.
Speech is slightly affected, especially at the start while you get use to new brackets on the back of your teeth. Your tongue can get a little irritated as it is in very close proximity to the back of your teeth – here, relieving wax is really helpful for the first week or two. Cleaning tends to be a little tricky starting out, as you get use to the new appliances.
Let’s be honest… Invisalign aligners are not a perfect “no braces” alternative. However, aligners have some clear advantages over conventional braces. They are clear and aesthetic, they are healthier for the gums and teeth, they are removable, and they work better than braces for some bite and teeth alignment problems.
It is important to realise that there are also some disadvantages. This makes it extremely important for us to understand every patient’s expectations and treatment requirements, to be able to deliver the very best results.
There are many Invisalign products available which can affect the cost of the treatment, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. These include: the Comprehensive Package, Moderate Package, Lite Package, Express Package and Vivera Retainers (previously known as Invisalign Full, Invisalign Teen, Invisalign Lite, Invisalign 7).
Invisalign is a very accurate teeth straightening system that has been used in over 5 million patients world wide. It uses small clear and invisible trays to move teeth very gently and progressively into a desired position. The aligners are changed on average every 10-14 days. Some teeth may move faster than 7 days and some may take closer to 14 days to settle into an aligner. By moving through the sequential aligners, we are able to predictably move each of your teeth towards a goal – the end result is that if your orthodontist uses Invisalign, the results will be as good as if braces were used to provide that beautiful smile.
Although dentists can provide Invisalign treatment, a specialist orthodontist has had a tremendous amount of extra training, expertise and knowledge, allowing him/her to plan every tooth movement that is to occur with precision and predictability. This means getting you the smile that you deserve! A tremendous amount of time is spent planning Invisalign cases and every patients needs are considered, ensuring safe and predictable results for every patient, avoiding many risks and complications that can occur along the way… not to mention, the movement will happen in the fastest possible time.
Specialist Orthodontist = same costs + faster treatment + best results + less problems… a no brainer!
- Being treated by an EXPERT specialist – knowledgeable and experienced
- Safer treatment
- Fast treatment
- Predictable treatment
- Quality results
- You can eat anything and everything – when the aligners are taken out
- Minimising problems that can occur
- Knowing how to correct and fix things if they don’t “track” or go to plan
- Affordable treatment, you pay for the final result which is easily achieved by a specialist
The advantages of Invisalign are many and include:
- Invisible and highly aesthetic, making it suitable for children and adults wanting a non-braces alternative
- Very comfortable (more comfortable to wear than braces)
- Easy to clean your teeth
- Easy to eat with
- Cleaner and more hygienic for the teeth and gums
- Better for the gum health, especially for patients with a history of gum disease
- The Invisalign aligners are removable
- Works better than braces (for some bite and teeth alignment issues)
- Pre-planned, more accurate and controlled movement of teeth
- Readily and easily closes gaps
The very best thing about aligners can also be a disadvantage. They are removable and need to be worn a minimum of 16 hours per day for them to work. The Aligners are exceptionally accurate but also delicate, so lots of TLC needs to be provided for them. In summery:
- Aligners are removable
- They need to be worn a minimum of 16 hours per day
- They can be lost or damaged
- There is a special way to care for them
The average case is around the $8800 mark… However, this is a tricky question to answer as no two peoples teeth are identical. Also, there are many different types of Invisalign treatment: Invisalign Full; Invisalign Teen; Invisalign Lite; Invisalign i7; Invisalign Vivera retainers.
You can now appreciate that there is a huge range of costs for a patient, the cost can start at $500 dollars and extend for very difficult cases to an excess of $12,500 (a case that requires bite/jaw corrections and lengthy treatment). This is why it is really important to see a specialist orthodontist who is experienced in Invisalign, who will advise you if treatment with Invisalign is right for you and which Invisalign treatment would be the most appropriate option.
Call Shakespeare Orthodontics for a FREE, no obligation consultation with an expert Invisalign specialist orthodontist.
Wear the aligners! Other than your orthodontist doing the behind the scenes treatment planning, designing, and customisation of your Invisalign aligners, the success of treatment comes down to you wearing the Invisalign aligners all day long –23 hours per day, a MINIMUM. Most of the treatment complications arise when patients do not wear their aligners consistently or for long enough, the treatment tends to takes longer and can be uncomfortable, when attempting to move erratically between aligners.
Try and follow instructions given carefully. The instructions will include wear time, using chewing tabs, wearing elastics, caring for your appliances, and being able to monitor the treatment progression. Dr Mo will ensure that he is there for every step of the way. At any stage, if you have questions or queries, if you are worried about anything, pick up the phone and talk to us. If we cannot fix it over the phone, we will sort you out with an urgent appointment to come in for a check… often, the very same day!
It is through amazing advancements in computer aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM) technology that we are able to provide and use Invisalign to carry out, what we could only do with braces previously. The aligners are printed to high accuracy to match the desired position of the teeth. After using a few aligners, we can move any tooth or group of teeth, in any which way we need. Having said this, some movements are easier and some are harder with the aligners.
Never break, lose or throw out previous aligners. We require these often to step a tooth or group of teeth back, in order to be able to move forward, especially if teeth are not tracking with the movement predicted. Keep all the aligners until the very end.
Because of the predictive nature of the technology, we sometimes require refinements and adjustments to the aligners. For this to happen, you often need to take new moulds and photos along the way to communicate back to Invisalign, for a new set of aligners.
Plates are removable appliances that can be taken in and out. They are very versatile and can be used for a large number of alignment and bite problems and can be offered for all our patients, however, usually more common in our younger patients. They work fantastically well for certain situations and cost a fraction of the price that braces do. Sometime, using plates when a child is younger, can avoid braces later in life… literally saving you and your family thousands!
We love what we do and really believe in it, so if we can correct bite and jaw problems with plates alone, with braces or a combination, we will make sure we give you the options.
Your orthodontist will instruct you in the wear of your retainer. Follow the instructions carefully as failure to do so WILL result in movement of your teeth. Retainers must be worn every night for the first year after your brace has been removed. You will be reviewed every 3-4months during your retention period. Bring your retainers along to these appointments. It is important to attend these appointments and to follow your instructions at each visit.
If your teeth need to be realigned, you will be charged.
If you are having problems with your retainers contact the surgery as soon as possible. Do not wait until your next appointment.
Clean your retainers at least twice a day with either soap and water or a toothbrush without toothpaste.
Toothpaste should not be used as this is abrasive and can affect the appearance of the retainers. They can be soaked in ‘ Retainer Brite’ to improve their taste. Never put in hot or boiling water.
We advise you to purchase a box to keep your retainers in when they are not in your mouth. If they are wrapped in tissue or put in your pocket they may be lost or damaged. Be extremely careful with your retainers as if you lose or damage them you will be charged for their replacement.
Follow these instructions carefully and your retention period will be uneventful. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the practice.
Plates are usually very comfortable (no pain involved), but take a little getting use to for a few days. Most patients will have no issues with speech or appearance of the plates, as they are quite discrete.
Damaged or lost plates and other appliances lengthen treatment time and can add costs to treatment. Please look after appliances to make your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. Give us a call if and we will make arrangements for a new one.
A mouthguard is a protective layer that covers the teeth, acting to cushion any knock or blow to the mouth and teeth. Generally, sporting mouthguards cover the upper teeth only. Mouthguards are hugely important in limiting the risk of mouth-related injuries to the cheeks, lips, tongue, and teeth, which is why dentists, dental specialists, sports coaches and other professionals highly recommend them!
In New Zealand, the average knock to the face initially costs a pile of paperwork, pain, discoloured teeth, unsightly smiles, and poor long-term health of the teeth (even though ACC may cover the financial pain). Mouthguards are for adults and children who play contact sports e.g. rugby, football, martial arts, hockey, basketball, and water polo. However, even non-contact sports can pose a risk of dental injury so a mouthguard should be worn if there is a potential risk of falling over or getting a knock to the face e.g. gymnastics, skateboarding, mountain biking etc. For anyone with anterior fillings, bridges, implants or braces, mouthguards are highly recommended to keep these protected. If these are removable, such as plates or orthodontic retainers, they should be removed during sporting activities.
Professionally-fitted mouthguards are custom-made for each individual to be highly accurate, protective and comfortable. They are usually made of 1, 2 or 3 protective layers, which allows them to provide a lot of protection while maintaining maximal comfort. A dentist or orthodontist can make these by taking a mould of your teeth, and the mouthguard is layered, shaped, trimmed and polished over this mould. Because of the work and time involved in making these, and the specialised equipment and materials required, these are more expensive than the other types (approximate cost is around $250-$300, depending on the material used).
Boil and bite mouthguards can also be purchased at many sporting stores. These mouthguards are made from a temperature-sensitive material (thermoplastic), that turns soft when placed in hot water and hardens when cooled. This allows an amount of moulding to fit the shape of the teeth, using finger and tongue pressure. These fit better than the stock standard mouthguards over the teeth and tend to stay in place until removed. For anyone with braces, these are the recommended option. They do lack thickness, which makes them less cushion-like as compared to the custom-made professional mouthguards. The price range is between $20-50.
Stock standard mouthguards are pre-formed and are purchased at a supermarket or chemist – they come ready to wear. They are inexpensive ( around $20-50) , however their fit cannot be adjusted… a “one size fits all” approach.They are not recommended by dentists/orthodontists as they are bulky, do not fit snuggly onto teeth, can fall out of the mouth easily, make breathing and talking difficult, and they provide little or no protection.
- Rinse your mouthguard with cold water or clean it with mild soap regularly.
- If it is not in your mouth… Keep it safe! Place the mouthguard in a firm, perforated container.
- Protect the mouthguard from hot water, hot surfaces, or direct sunlight, to minimize it distorting its shape.
- Check the mouthguard regularly. If it becomes loose or you find holes, tears or cracks in it, replace it.
Functional appliances are removable or fixed appliances that are used in growing children in a bid to modify the position or size of the jaws. This results in the correction of jaw size and positional problems which help improve the bite. There are many types of functional appliances each designed differently but all share the same biomechanical principles – they all work the same way.
Jaw and bite problems can occur in all three dimensions of space which is also why there are so many different functional appliance available. Functional appliances have been around for over 100 years and are primarily used for the treatment of Class II malocclusions (an underdeveloped lower jaw where the upper teeth appear to stick out).
Functional appliances have also been developed to treat Class III malocclusions (an overdeveloped or large lower jaw that sits forward relative to the upper jaw), anterior open bites (where the front teeth do not close together), deep bites (where there is a large vertical overlap between the front teeth) and others.
Removable functional appliances are basically a set of an upper and lower plate, or a single plate that are custom made to your child’s teeth and jaws. They come in an enormous selection of colours and patterns so it becomes somewhat of a fashion statement for kids, showing off to their friends and really taking ownership of the plates, which helps tremendously with the success of the treatment.
There are also fixed functional appliances which as the name suggests, are fixed in the mouth and are not removed. These are less popular as they tend to be a little chunky and less comfortable.
Examples of functional appliances include: Twin blocks, Bionator, Frankel II, Andreason Activator, Herbst, Jasper Jumper, Carrier appliance and Forsus springs, to name a few.
Functional Appliance Info+
Your orthodontist will instruct you in how to wear your custom made functional appliances. Follow the instructions carefully as it ensures the success of your treatment and much improved outcomes. You will be seeing your orthodontist regularly for reviews to ensure that the appliances are doing what they are suppose to. Your job is an important one, look after the appliances and keep them clean.
If you are having problems with your appliances contact the practice as soon as possible. Do not wait until your next appointment.
Clean your appliances at least twice a day with either liquid soap and water or a toothbrush without toothpaste. If your appliances are removable, please remove your appliances when eating, brushing your teeth or if you are playing sport. Make sure to get into a habit of giving them a thorough wash after each meal, and at morning and night.
For removable functional appliances, toothpaste should not be used as it contains silica particles which are abrasive and can affect the appearance of the plates. They can be soaked in ‘Retainer Brite’ to improve their taste. Never put in hot or boiling water.
Please always keep your removable plates in your mouth as they only work when they are worn. If you need to remove them, please make sure to keep them in the safety box provided. If they are wrapped in tissue or put in your pocket they may be lost or damaged. Be extremely careful with your plates as if you lose or damage them you will be charged for their replacement.
Follow these instructions carefully and your treatment should be an absolute success. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the practice.
Plates are usually very comfortable (no pain involved), but take a little getting use to for a few days. Expect them to feel like a mouthful the first couple of days, your speech to sound a bit funny and a bit of drool the first two nights. Most patients will have no issues with speech past the first 10 days.
Damaged or lost plates and other appliances lengthen treatment time and can add costs to treatment. Please look after appliances to make your treatment goes as smoothly as possible. If your plates or appliances are misplaced or damaged, please give us a call and let us know immediately. We will make arrangements for a new one.